What’s next?

Trends 2014 arrowWhat is happening out there in the wide world of communication? What devices are we using? and where are we heading?

To be sure things do not stand still, and the usage of computing devices including smartphones is ever increasing as is the impact of the internet. If you read ‘All things Internet’ you know which direction that

that is headed in. However, it might be useful to take a quick look at the devices trends so we are better prepared to take advantage of them.

Fsmartphone usersirst the trend of the number of users of the internet which grew by about 10% year on year on average, but may be slowing a bit in developed countries, and next is the strong growth of smartphones, about 20%, with the fastest growth likely to be in countries with large markets and not yet fully developed, China of course, and India too, but also in countries like Brazil and Indonesia.

It will come as no surprise that tablets have had an amazing growth, some 52% in these early years, the surprise is the rapidity of the growth. I am unsure whether it is tablets bought as a second device, i.e. in addition to the desktop computer, or whether perhaps instead of, that has fuelled the fire here. But the numbers are growing faster than the PCs ever did and when you think that we are talking about a period from 2009 till now some 80 million were shipped.

Mobile data forecastThe big number though is in Mobile data traffic, up 81% and accelerating. Most likely it has been driven by the ability of devices to run videos [like YouTube] in addition to general internet use, and mobile usage has grown very strongly. Not everyone use a smartphone, but about 30% of mobile phone users do, and looking at the global smartphone quarterly unit shipments  for just the last quarter of 2013 some 315 million units were shipped.

The thing is that for all the numbers above the global users of the various devices continue to increase and there is still room. For example, penetration of TV is about 78% of the population, Mobile phones about 73%, Smartphones still only 22%, whilst the laptop accounts for 11% penetration and the desktop for 10%, but the tablet still has only 6% penetration of the global population, so still plenty of room for the makers.

Mobile use in our corner of the world has increased from about 12% to 17% from last year to this year, not a patch on e.g. Africa with 38% or Asia with 37%, but about the same as Europe.

So if you are already into tablet computing you are still ahead of the game and you may now be contemplating your smartphone purchase to ensure you can stay connected 24/7!

Happy Computing.

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